Obama’s empty boasts
7.1 million Affordable Care Act signups are only one metric among many
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, April 6, 2014, 4:00 AM
Not much to brag about.
After his health-care law surpassed the low-ball enrollment target of 7 million, President Obama staged a Rose Garden rally and zinged doubters: “Armageddon has not arrived.” At least he did not declare: “Mission Accomplished.”
The country is years from knowing whether Obama’s overhaul of the health-care system fulfills the promise of delivering universal coverage.
While large numbers of Americans have found the program very advantageous, including people who were formerly uninsured, many others have been forced to change plans or change doctors — contrary to Obama’s repeated promises.
Obama tacitly admits the unintended consequences every time he waives a deadline or mandate in an on-the-fly effort to avoid catastrophe.
Even the sign-up numbers are not necessarily all they were cracked up to be.
Officials failed to say how many of the 7.1 million had paid their first month’s premium. Nor did they say how many of the 7.1 million were previously uninsured.
Another blank spot is how many new enrollees are young and healthy. A population mix that includes too many of the old and sick would jeopardize finances.
And then there’s the inconvenient truth that 7.1 million enrollments would still leave roughly 40 million Americans without insurance.
That’s a mere dent for a program that will cost $1.76 trillion over the next decade.
Yes, there’s a chance that these enrollment numbers will turn out to have been baby steps in the painful evolution toward a valuable system. But they could just as well be harbingers of a collapse that would set back the cause of universal health coverage for decades.